of State Medical Boards and its equivalent bodies, would participate with other regulatory bodies in the development of widely agreed upon standards and goals for CPD.

A somewhat analogous organization is the National Quality Forum, a not-for-profit membership organization that convenes stakeholders to endorse measures of health care quality. The NQF was developed by the 1998 President’s Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. The commission recognized the need to develop standards for measuring health care quality and performance because of the promulgation of numerous highly varied sets of measures, resulting in unreliable data on which to base decisions. The NQF was established with private funding matched by the Department of Health and Human Services to oversee development of measures of health care quality, data collection, and reporting. A structure of councils is used to obtain input from its member stakeholders.

This alternative is more complex than the others and would therefore be more complicated to implement. Active participation and acceptance by a wide range of stakeholders would be needed to identify and implement changes. Developing a public-private structure would likely be resource-intensive, although a more coordinated CPD system would more efficiently and effectively manage resource utilization in the long term, resulting in a higher-value system compared to a system without such leadership.

The committee concludes that with strong leadership, a new public-private partnership is the best alternative to effect change. The committee therefore calls on the federal government to work with current stakeholders and act as the initial convener to stimulate change toward the development of a public-private central body tasked with integrating the key components of CPD. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services should take the lead, but also should coordinate with directors of other government bodies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Education.

Recommendation 1: The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services should, as soon as practical, commission a planning committee to develop a public-private institute for continuing health professional development. The resulting institute should coordinate and guide efforts to align approaches in the areas of:

  1. Content and knowledge of CPD among health professions,



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